Monthly Archives: December 2009

Merry Christmas

It’s Christmas day. Christmas morning is usually a flurry of early morning excitement and flying wrapping paper as gifts are revealed. Baby’s first Christmas was more akin to a whirl of diaper changes and confused disinterest. 10 weeks is likely to young to really appreciate gifts. At this point he really seems to be more interested in his feet, how they got there, and whether or not he can get them in his mouth.

Hanging out with Puddles
All that being said, I don’t have any pictures of Logan opening presents. He mostly slept through the gift presentation portion of the morning.

To make up for that, here is a recipe for bread pudding that is sure to delight.

1 Baguette, sliced into inch thick pieces and allowed to dry out over night.
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cups sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350f.

Break up the baguette into largish pieces, similar to a 1 inch cube. Place them in an even layer into a 9″ baking dish.

Drizzle the melted butter over the bread, and allow it to soak into the bread while you make the custard mixture.

In a bowl, beat the eggs. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, rosemary, and vanilla and beat to combine before whisking in the milk and cream. Whisk until well combined and smooth.

Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Push the mixture down with a fork until it’s even in the pan. Not all the bread needs to be soaked with the egg mixture. Any bread left poking out will be crusty and crunchy. That’s the best part anyway.

Sprinkle the cranberries over the top of the pudding and place into the oven. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, or until golden brown on the top and set in the middle. Allow to cool and set for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve it with this awesome bourbon sauce. Or, don’t.

8 tablespoons butter
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup of good drinking bourbon.
1 vanilla pod

Melt the butter over medium heat in a sauce pan. Split and scrape the vanilla bean, adding both the butter. Stir the butter and vanilla for 2-3 minutes, if it starts to brown, reduce the heat. Add the sugar and bourbon and continue to whisk until it’s creamy and smooth. Remove the vanilla pod. In a separate bowl whisk the egg. Temper the egg with some of the sauce and then add the egg, whisking vigorously to prevent curdling. Allow to cool for several minutes, and drizzle over pudding just prior to serving.

Nearly Christmas

We’ve already been to our first Christmas party. Three more to go. Logan slept through most of it, but that’s okay. It’s certainly preferential to the alternative. No one likes a grumpy crying baby.

Not always fun and games

The ladies at the party all loved Logan. I suspect this will be a trend that will last well into his later years. He received a number of “oohs” and “aahs” from his appreciable audience. He seemed particularly taken with Clara.

Clara loves little Logan

I’m glad he was so popular, it provided me an opportunity to do my dad thing; drink a lot of beer and eat a lot of sausage appetizers.

He's a ladies man

Logan has become adapt at holding his head up, and he even has the strength to stand. He lacks the coordination to maintain his own balance, but he definitely has the strength part down pat. It’s sometimes easy to forget he’s less than 3 months old.

That smile

I couldn’t resist buying him this gift for Christmas, even though he’s far too young for it. I also couldn’t resist opening it. When Thinkgeek featured the Tauntaun sleeping bag as an April Fool’s joke, I was one of the thousands who attempted to order it. When they announced that it was a real licensed product, I was one of the first thousand to order it.

A premature Christmas present

Logan won’t be able to use it for some time, but I couldn’t resist. He didn’t seem to really like it much, even after I demonstrated that the zipper pull was a plush lightsaber and pulling it opened up the guts of the Tauntaun. I’m sure he’ll come around.

Escape attempt #1

We had another trip to the pediatrician’s office to meet with our lactation consult. Tami Schollser has been something of a god send for us. When Logan was underweight and having trouble eating, she was able to quickly identify several problems and work with us to correct them. In the six weeks or so that we’ve been seeing her, Logan has put on more than 5 lbs and while he’s still small, he’s growing at a healthy pace.

Tammi Schlosser and her #1 client

As a parting shot, here’s a pic of me and the boy taking a nap. There seems to be an awful lot of gray in my beard.

Taking a nap

My Little Mowgli

Evidently my boy isn’t just cute, he also tastes good. This is only a short clip of what was a comically long interlude of bathing. I eventually had to ask Puddles to leave Logan alone. I’m not sure she ever would have stopped. I can only presume that Logan’s head tastes like beef jerky.

Hold your head up, hold your head HIGH

Logan made his first trip to the Pediatrician for a wellness checkup on Thursday. This required a slightly confusing conversation between myself and the receptionist.

2nd month Birthday

“Did you bring Logan’s shot records?” She asked.

“He doesn’t have any, unless the Doctor decides to give him on today.”

Slightly frustrated, she verged on the cusp of a condescending demand, “You don’t  have the records from the hospital?”

“Home birth” was my succinct response to which I was rewarded with some surprised understanding, and a short “Oh, okay.”

Wailing

That out of the way, the Doctor poked, rubbed, prodded, measured, and examined, in a very doctorly fashion. To the hand clapping delight of my A type over achiever wife, the Doc noted that Logan is displaying motor development skills and strength at a four month level.

Doing push ups

Just yesterday he held onto a rattle for the first time. A task that we’ve been practicing for some time.

Cameron is convinced that he’ll be walking by the time he’s 9 months old. I reckon the super strength and flight won’t start to develop until he’s near puberty. Heat vision could come at any time, but will likely wait until an appropriately embarrassing teenage moment.

What a killer smirk
I can tell you that his weight is up to 10lbs 5oz. He’s a relatively small kid, but the curve on his growth is steady and encouraging. My mother tells me that I was a relatively small child as well. Somewhere along the line I figured out how to correct that, and I’m sure Logan will as well.

Check out the bean wear
The next few weeks should be exciting. Not only do we have a full social calendar that is nearly guaranteed to bring about another cold, but it will be Logan’s first Christmas. This is an event that will require, by act of special congressional session, hundreds of photos and videos.

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Bonus video: Logan smiling to himself as he sleeps. I can’t know what he’s dreaming of course, but I suspect it involves boobs. I’ve let him know that this is a common obsession with young children, nothing to be ashamed of, and chances are he’ll grow out of it in, say, 50 to 60 years.

Hold your head high

It seems like a lot more time than 2 months has passed, but that’s how old Logan will be tomorrow. I feel like there should be a joke in there somewhere. Something about the passage of time as compared to the outside world from within the quarantined cocoon of being a new parent.
For the most part, a happy baby

Maybe something that mentions a bar, or several prominent religious figures entering that bar. Maybe just a one liner about circus animals. I don’t know, I’m drawing a blank.

First sippy cup

Logan is a strong kid. I can’t tell if he’s stronger than normal for his age, or if it’s just my parental pride that makes me want to believe that holding up your own head is unusual for the 8 week old infant. He has the strength, but not the balance, coordination or desire, to stand on his own as well.

He seems strong

Hopefully, within a few months, he’ll be strong enough to cart me around like Master Blaster in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. That would make all the sleepless nights worth it.

We've been working on holding our head up

Everyone seems to be in the declining symptoms of the recent wave of common cold that swept through our home post Thanksgiving. We still have to duel with the occasional tenacious booger though. I suspect everyone will clear up just in time for the inevitable Christmas wave of colds.

Logan sleeps like this a lot

Thanksmas

The Hawkins family has a holiday tradition. Every year at Thanksgiving we gather at one of our homes and combine Thanksgiving and Christmas in a whirlwind weekend celebration that my mother calls Thanksmas.

Cameron and Tekla investigate Logan

Each year we rotate hosting duties so that everyone gets a chance to fill their house with drunk family and everyone gets an opportunity to experience the slapstick comedy of holiday travel. Due to a unique set of circumstances, we have hosted two years in a row.

Baby's First Thanksgiving
This year was Logan’s first Thanksgiving and he celebrated like all Hawkins men do, by sitting around with a glassy eyed expression, over eating, and releasing the infrequent fart or belch.

Baby and Daddy

Because I had to split my attention between infant duties and cooking, I dialed it down a bit this year, and even requested help with some of the cooking. My father helped out considerably, for which I am grateful.

Logan and Grandpa

The menu was lighter than in the past; Turkey, pulled pork, mashed potatoes, maple roasted turnips, Brussels sprouts with hazel nut butter, grilled carrots glazed with honey and balsamic vinegar, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie and pecan pie.  All made from scratch, of course.

Tenting the turkey

Despite the light menu, everyone seemed satisfied.

The remains of the meal

So I lit a fire and we had S’mores.

Fire makes so many things good
Then we discovered that a pit fire seems to give babies nasal congestion. Now he and mommy both have a cold.

Post Thanksgiving S'more roasting

Lesson learned.

Puddles greets visitors

Everyone’s left now, and we’re slowly recovering from a house full of family and cleaning the kitchen four times a day. Our house seems a little more empty, and a little more lonely. You can see the rest of the pictures, including such fan favorites as; my Nephew Nathaniel Wearing A Pirate Hat, Logan Smiling, and Aromatics I Stuffed Into The Turkey, here.